This card sort activity is intended for practice identifying pairs of antonyms. The five sets of cards contain 14 cards each. The student may work on the card sort independently or with a partner.
*Note that there is often more than one antonym for a given word. Students should choose the best match from the cards provided.
Included in this material
• 5 sets of antonym cards (7 pairs of antonyms per set), with card set number labeled on each card
• Answer key
• Recording sheet
Words Used in the Sorts
• Set 1: accept/reject, accurate/unreliable, capable/incompetent, excited/indifferent, fragile/durable, notice/ignore, rough/gentle
• Set 2: alert/inattentive, argue/concur, awkward/graceful, bright/dull, create/destroy, difficult/effortless, quiet/boisterous
• Set 3: concentrate/distract, entire/incomplete, flexible/rigid, gigantic/miniscule, manufacture/demolish, peculiar/common, proceed/retreat
• Set 4: anonymous/identified, fascinate/bore, isolate/connect, lament/celebrate, plethora/scarcity, stationary/mobile, subtle/blatant
• Set 5: absent/present, antonym/synonym, confess/conceal, glum/jovial, natural/artificial, penalty/reward, understandable/incomprehensible
Using the Card Sorts
Before use, print, laminate, and cut out the cards.
1. Set out the heading card for the set being used (ex: Antonyms Set 1).
2. Choose a card and place it on the work surface. Take a second card and decide if it is an antonym for the card already out. If so, place it next to the antonym. If not, place the card below to create a column.
3. Continue until all cards are sorted, creating pairs of antonyms. If a child is unsure of the meaning of
a word, encourage the use of a dictionary (or thesaurus).
4. Check work with the answer key.
5. Record work in a language notebook or on the included recording sheet.
If desired, have students do an extension after completing the card sort. To check their understanding, have them write a few additional pairs of antonyms. Have dictionaries and thesauruses available for use as resources!